As you may or may not have noticed, the little “current roster” sidebar over on the right there has been updated. That’s because it’s September 1, that fun time of the year where college football fans have reason to live again (sidenote: Appalachian State over Michigan? What?), and the rosters expand in MLB.
So here’s the 4 guys coming up for the Blue, according to Tony Jackson:
1) Chad Moeller called up to be the 3rd catcher. Okay, fine, whatever. Sucks for Ken Huckaby, but since Mike Lieberthal never gets off the bench as the #2, whoever’s #3 should be happy they even let him travel with the team without buying his own plane tickets. This gets a solid “yawn”.
2) D.J. Houlton called up to re-join the pen. Also not a big deal; D.J.’s been up and down a few times this year.
3) Jonathan Meloan called up to join the pen. Finally! If you haven’t yet heard of this kid, he’s been dominating in the minors since being drafted in 2005. 91 K’s in 52 IP while hitting 3 levels in 2006; this year he started out in AA Jacksonville (2.18 ERA with 70 K’s in 45.1 IP) and didn’t slow down at all in Sin City – 1.86 ERA with nearly a strikeout per inning. In his minor league career? 0.99 WHIP. 13.51 K/9IP. 2.44 ERA. Nearly 4-to-1 K/BB ratio. The question should be, “why wasn’t he up earlier?” But now the only relevant question is, “will Grady actually use him?”
4) Chin-Lung Hu called up to add infield depth. No complaints here. We’ve known about Hu’s glove for a few years, but this year he’s shown plenty of offensive skills too, launching him into the “big-time prospect” stratosphere. Erm, a Gold-Glove caliber SS who slugged over .500 at both AA and AAA this year? Yes, please. He’s not going to take any playing time away from Furcal this year, but it’s good to get the kid some experience.
So, there you have it, the newest.. what’s that? We’re forgetting someone? Well, I don’t know who you could mean.. it’s not like we have a Grade-A hitting prospect destroying the minors, who showed remarkable plate discipline in his short time in the bigs earlier this season, at the same time as a recycled veteran mediocres his way around third base. (Yes. “Mediocres” is a verb now. Deal with it.)
Well, that’s right. Andy LaRoche somehow didn’t get included in the call-ups, here. That doesn’t mean he can’t in a few days when the Vegas season ends, but that doesn’t quite explain why he’s not up, you know, now-ish. Are we really that enamored with Shea “I’m OPS’ing .570 with an ungodly .269 OBP, and with lousy range at 3B” Hillenbrand that we’re not interested in giving one of the minors’ best hitting prospects a chance? Yes, LaRoche had a sore back when Nomar went down, or we might have been seeing him already. But he’s been back and sure seems healthy – judging by his two homers the other night. He’s OPS’ing .970 this season in AAA. Hillenbrand couldn’t OPS .970 if you let him combine two seperate seasons to do it.
So, someone, help me out here. What possible reason is there to not get LaRoche up right now and let him try to jump-start this offense?
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness